Swine Flu, caused by the H1N1 virus, has been spreading fast in different parts of India as well as in our own state of Assam. While it isn’t as scary as it seemed a few years ago, it’s still important to protect yourself from getting it. Like seasonal flu, it can cause more serious health problems for some people.
In India, swine flu has affected more than 25,000 people and the current death toll is around 1400 (as on 9th March 2015). Assam has reported 2 deaths till now and around 10 persons are said to have been affected by the H1N1 virus.
Swine flu is contagious, and it spreads in the same way as the seasonal flu. When people who have it cough or sneeze,
they spray tiny drops of the virus into the air. If you come in contact with these drops or touch a surface (such as a doorknob or sink) that an infected person has recently touched, you can catch the H1N1 swine flu.
People who have swine flu can be contagious one day before they have any symptoms and as many as 7 days after they get sick.
Most symptoms are the same as seasonal flu. They can include:
- Sore throat
- Stuffy or runny nose
- Body aches
Like seasonal flu, swine flu can lead to more serious complications, including pneumonia and respiratory failure. And it can make conditions like diabetes or asthma worse. If you have symptoms like shortness of breath, severe vomiting, abdominal pain, dizziness, or confusion, consult a doctor.
- Wash hands regularly and frequently with soap and water or with alcohol-based sanitizers. Anything you touch may be affected. So, keeping your hands clean will help you avoid infection.
- Sneeze or cough into a tissue and dispose it off right away.
- Touch public handles and pens as little as possible. These are loaded with germs that may carry the swine flu virus.
- Stay out of crowds as much as possible. Close proximity to other people will heighten your chances of getting swine flu. WEAR A SURGICAL MASK in public places and in areas of high traffic concentration.
- Do not eat or drink from containers or utensils without washing or sanitizing them properly. Swine flu can be transmitted by coming into contact with unhygenic eating utensils.
- Eat fruits & vegetables rich in vitamin A & C (available in carrot, papaya, orange, lemon, pineapple and guava).
- Stay at home if you’re sick. If you do have H1N1 flu, you can give it to others starting about 24 hours before you develop symptoms and ending about seven days later.
- Don’t eat undercooked eggs and meat. Avoid mayonnaise (it is made up of uncooked egg).
- Don’t sneeze or cough into your hands.
- Avoid direct contact with people suffering from respiratory infection.
In case you feel like having any of the symptoms, please consult a doctor.
Remember, prevention is always better than cure!
(Information compiled from different sources into one place to create public awareness regarding swine flu and check its advance and spread in my area). – Barnadhya Rwitam Sharma
REFERENCES: 1. http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/flu-guide/h1n1-flu-virus-swine-flu 2. http://m.timesofindia.com/city/chandigarh/Fighting-swine-flu/articleshow/46327718.cms 3. http://www.svcdc.org/swine_flu_precautions.php 4. http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/swine-flu-toll-crosses-1-400-mark-assam-reports-first-death/article1-1324463.aspx
IMAGES COURTESY: 1. https://jeevansahara.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/flu8.jpg 2. http://h1n1.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/symptoms_of_swine_flu_svg.png